I don’t know about you but when I listen to born again and other evangelical Christians go on and on about God, Jesus and Salvation, I sometimes just want to throw-up my breakfast.
I dare say that a few people reading this feel the same about what they have read so far and have already been triggered into standing ready to give a proper defense of their Christian Faith. So what’s my beef?
Well, my beef isn’t with God, Jesus or Salvation or even the Bible. It is with all the things people – whose lives are filled with faith in the Bible and the assurance that they have earned a place in Heaven – say that have nothing at all to do with who and what Jesus was and what the plan of God is for each person who follows him. If you don’t get out much and have never gone asking people about their religious beliefs and doctrines you can be forgiven for not knowing that YOUR confession of sins and repentance; YOUR acknowledgement of Christ and accepting him as Lord, and YOUR baptism is more than likely insufficient for some people and their dogmatic theology on who gets in and who is kicked out.
The BS of the Easter Story is that if you haven’t indulged in the right rite of Baptism and had the right person perfo
rming that rite and uttering the dogmatically correct utterances during the performance you were probably not baptized correctly and so your salvation is in doubt. The same goes for your ‘Sinner’s Prayer.’
And don’t even bother to try and get your head around the whole issue of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues because there are so many people who will disqualify you from Salvation if you do speak in tongues or didn’t do all of the right things and in the right order and at the right times when it comes to the issue of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues.
In fact, I think it fair to say that despite all the BS that you will find in the Bible and in Easter movies about who and what Jesus is, said and did, the reality of your Salvation is dependent on having the correct theology. (Well – at least so far as many a righteous Christian might be concerned.)
It doesn’t matter what the Bible says about the grace of God through the faith of Christ being freely given to all us wayward sinners, the reality is that Salvation is by Theology – not the Grace of God. If you have the wrong theology or religious practices you are simply disqualified from Salvation. And let’s face it, so many people have spent so much time ensuring that they have theology down pat, that they absolutely DO DESERVE their Salvation.
Like all those leftist progressive liberals whose righteousness is measured on and therefore justified by ‘The Standard of Comparative Unrighteousness Index,’ many so-called Christians today know that they are righteous because they have done and said all of those things which their theology has taught them are necessary to do in order to be ‘saved.’
As for me, I made the mistake in my youthful ignorance, of asking God to make me as Holy as Moses. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered the truth about Moses.
God called Moses from before he was born, and in delivering him from certain death, sent him to be raised and educated a Prince. In return, Moses committed murder, hid the body of his victim, and fled the judicial process.
When God in the desert called Moses back to the leadership position unto which he was born, he said “No Thanks!” After considerable arm twisting by God and due consideration by Moses, Moses signed his work contract and set off back to Egypt, politely ignoring in the process God’s command to circumcise his son. His journey was almost over before it was begun. He should have paid more attention to the conditions of his calling.
The job in Egypt, as it turned out, was a little more complicated than Moses imagined, but, after calling down judgment on those who did not heed his voice, Moses and his motley crew set off for the Promised Land.
They didn’t get very far before Moses discovered how ungrateful his followers could be, and over the next forty years of wandering in the wilderness, numerous things happened. For Instance: He carelessly in a moment of anger, smashed the gift which God had given him (the tablet of the commandments); complained bitterly that God had no idea what dregs the Israelites were; tried to resign his job on several occasions; directly disobeyed orders about striking a rock; watched his right hand man compromise his authority, his dignity and his commonsense by giving into popular demand for a golden idol, and finally, as a result of his bad temper, he failed to benefit from the very thing he had led his people to over the preceding forty years – the promised land. Moses’ life was not a bed of roses. He was a rash man with a temper that made him careless. For decades his life just didn’t go the way he had planned it and by the time he was content enough with his life and ready for a peaceful retirement, it was thrown into turmoil again by a pesky deity who for some reason considered him the best person for the job of ‘leader’.
It sort of makes you wonder how long Moses would have lasted in one of our churches today! Would you have chosen him as a leader?
If you scour the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, you discover a number of important things. First and foremost of those things is that many of the people we admire because ‘God MOVED MIGHTILY in their lives’ had pretty rotten lives and half of them would have been rejected from our modern day churches. Here’s a short list:
Abraham passed his wife off as his sister
Lot offered up his daughter for gang rape
Judah frequented prostitutes and had sex with his daughter-in-law
Joseph was sold as a slave and later falsely imprisoned
Moses we have already covered
King David was an adulterer and a murderer
Solomon came to the conclusion that life was folly
The Prophet Jeremiah had a miserable existence in the service of God
Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den
Peter denied Christ three times and died upside-down on a cross
St Paul’s life was a race of endurance
The fact of the matter is that anyone who truly seeks (or is otherwise destined) to know God, is going to have to endure a hell-of-a-lot! Jesus himself made that quite clear in the New Testament, as he did also that there is a future day coming when many will say to him that they were his good and humble servants to which he will reply – ‘get lost!’
The truth of Easter is about the relationship between Jesus and the Father.
The truth of Easter is about obedience no matter the cost.
The truth of Easter is about fulfilling your obligations to God.
The truth of Easter is about DYING.
Now I don’t know about you, but I really don’t care AT ALL about the ‘Oh yes but then comes resurrection!’ chorus because you can’t have resurrection UNTIL YOU DIE and I sure-as-God don’t want to go through what Jesus, or Peter or St. Paul or so many others did.
I’d be quite content to go to every church out there and follow all of their formulas and believe all of their doctrines IF ONLY I could be saved without suffering. Unfortunately, if you read the Epistles of St. Peter, SUFFERING seems to be a natural consequence of seeking to walk in the will of God.
What is not BS about the Christian’s Easter is that Christ only died and rose again because we are not worthy of Salvation.